Why Does The (Name of the Wind) Blow–Part Two

So what sets The Kingkiller Trilogy apart from other fantasy series? On the outside, Rothfuss’s trilogy looks like the average fantasy doorstopper series–three massive books, in which nothing much happens for long stretches of time.

Well, what’s in the actual average fantasy doorstopper series? Fantasy series are usually epic in a soap-operaish sort of way–the author introduces multiple characters, and the reader switches back and forth between character viewpoints, and then at the very, very end, all the characters that have managed to reach the finish line without perishing reach some sort of narrative resolution. The author usually tells the story through third-person limited perspective. First-person narrators exist, but are much, much rarer. Continue reading →

Why Does The (Name of the Wind) Blow–Part One

Ronan Wills has finished his rolling commentary on The Name of the Wind, the first book in Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Trilogy. I enjoyed his critique—we share many of the same issues with the book, especially in regards to the plotting, which proceeds at the rate of an exhausted snail trying to make its way through an especially thick spot of molasses.

Wills summed up his commentary with an explanation of exactly where he feels the book went wrong; he argues that overenthusiasm of the Internet sort is one of the reasons that The Name of the Wind was so poorly written, yet so well received. Rothfuss never had to up his game, because he’s dealing with a receptive audience who are willing to overlook a first-time author’s flaws and praise him to the skies.

Here’s where I depart from Wills. That’s just not true. I wish it was true, but it just isn’t so. Continue reading →